1. You are under no obligation to be the same person you were yesterday, the same person you are today, the same person you were an hour ago. Life is short. Play with it. You might figure out who you are at 18. You might figure out who you are at 40. Both are okay.
2. You only have so much money and you really want that new pair of shoes? Go buy them. Wear them. Brag about them. Love them like they’re your own flesh and blood. Never forget that the night you woke up drunk and had to walk home, those shoes were still on your feet.
3. Never take money or a well-paid job over your dreams and the things you love.
4. Don’t blame people for leaving you. We all have issues. Sometimes leaving seems to be the easiest, and most simple of options. We have all been there. We will all be there. Don’t throw blame in places it isn’t needed.
5. People WILL leave you and it will hurt. God, it will hurt. Don’t succumb to it. Give it a day to feel. A day to sit in your bed and cry your heart out. To write sad poetry and scream until you’re hoarse. Then pick yourself up and go take a shower. Wash him out of your hair. Wash her out of your hands. Brush their taste from your mouth. And then you live again.
6. Don’t put things off until the last minute. You will find yourself staying awake until 4AM trying to finish a paper that is due at 6AM. Try not to let that happen to you. You will find yourself filled with anxiety, dry mouth, and bitter thoughts. Plan ahead.
7. People are going to die. The people you love are going to die. Maybe today, maybe 10 years from now. But it will happen. Try not to focus on it too much, but realize that life is short. Let yourself know it’s going to happen. Prepare yourself, brace yourself. It will happen.
8. Learn to cook. Don’t rely upon a microwave and hot pockets. It’s not healthy, and it’s not good. Make your own food, all kinds of food. Eat things you normally wouldn’t eat. Experiment.
9. People are ocean tides and they’re going to change with the seasons. They will leave you, make you cry, make you happy, and make you sad. Sometimes all in the same day. People change, sometimes in a minute, sometimes in a year.
10. Take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. One day, when you’re twenty you’re going to wake up and wish you had photos of your friends from middle school.
11. You are going to wake up at 4AM and wish that you were dead. You are going to think about all the things you’ve ever done wrong. You’re going to want to cry, you’re going to want to shout. Don’t buy into any of it. The night time is the devil like that, in disguise trying to drag out the happiness you have. Don’t let it. Go back to sleep, focus on the things that make you happy.
12. Remember the real friends you have in your life. One day, you might not talk at all.
13. Have somebody to call when it’s 3AM and you’re drunk and want to talk. Have somebody to call when you’re ready to come home.
14. People are going to be mean. You’re going to be mean. Don’t buy into that “everyone is nice” crap because it’s all shit. We’re all cruel, every single one of us. Some, are just more so than others. Prepare yourself to hear every evil thing you’ve thought about yourself out loud. Prepare yourself to call your friends names behind their back when you’re mad.
15. Say “I’m sorry.” Shout it from the rooftops. Whisper it into somebodies skin. Scream it, yell it, say it. Don’t ruin relationships because of your big ego.
16. Get an education. Get a job you’re happy with. Don’t depend upon anybody else for money, housing, or food. You’re going to wake up at 35 and realize the only worthwhile job you’ve ever worked was when you were 17, and somehow, you still hated every minute of it.
17. Don’t be scared to let somebody love you. Nobody wants to be alone for the rest of their life. Embrace in the fact that they adore you, let them love you, let them brag about you to their friends. One day you’re going to realize that you love them too.
18. Travel. Travel to other cities, to other countries. Travel and bring just a little cash and an extra set of clothes. Allow yourself to get lost. Allow yourself to meet new people. Allow yourself to find yourself, to find the person you once were and the person you want to become.
19. You are going to hold somebody’s hair back while they vomit. You’re going to wash them up and put them to bed. Don’t be squeamish about any of this. Take care of them, watch them. Let yourself be needed. Let them know that you’re there.
20. Pay attention to how people treat their waiters. It says a lot more about them then it does about the service.